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August 3, 2017 / Joanne Yeck

 Fallsburg Mills: Part IV


In 1958, Buckingham County historian Lulie Patteson wrote an article for Charlottesville’s Daily Progress, recalling the village at Fallsburg Mills, located in Buckingham County about a mile above Warren, as it had existed decades before:

Then there was what were called the upper grocery and the lower grocery. These two stores catered to the scattered little village and the outlying neighborhood. Catered not only in coffee, sugar and such staples, but in the whiskey that lured men to alcoholism then, as today. Both the stores were not only bar rooms, but as most stores and taverns of that day, were gambling houses as well.

THOSE INCLINED to woo the goddess of chance often, it is said, would gather at the lower grocery in the morning then drink, gamble and gossip until afternoon. Then the gang would move to the upper grocery and the program was repeated.

Situated here, too, was a large tannery where hides from the adjacent county were tanned. Many of them were shipped to Richmond and Lynchburg, although much shoe-making was done at home in those days. Some have claimed there was a shoe-maker’s shop in connection with the tannery, but this was not proved.

Such a large flouring mill in those days would have called for many barrels, for flour was largely measured in barrels than. So we find that there was a cooperage here which is said to have done flouring business. These businesses, with a few private homes, made up of village well known then up and down the James, but now almost a forgotten memory.

Coming next: William A. Wilkerson of Fallsburg Mills


Leave a Comment
  1. Carole Jensen / Aug 3 2017 12:16 pm

    That was very interesting, Joanne. My great-grandfather, Thomas Benton Norvell, sold general merchandise and liquor at his store in Diana Mills in the late 1800s. This makes me wonder what was going on at his store. Carole Jensen

    • Joanne Yeck / Aug 3 2017 1:18 pm

      Carole, Thanks for your comment. Miss Lulie certainly makes the Fallsburg Mills stores sound wicked. The proximity to the river might add an element of riffraff that we would not expect to find at Diana Mills. We know there were taverns at Buckingham Courthouse and at New Canton. I don’t recall a dedicated tavern at Diana Mills. Drinking on the premises would require a specific license. That doesn’t mean that every store owner complied. . . . Joanne


  1. Fallsburg Mills: Part V | slate river ramblings . . . .

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